White on the outside, brown on the inside


By Jay Fermin

Guess who is in town! The last time I saw her, she was only 15. However, her bio of activities during that time was dizzying to look at to say the least. She was in High School then but I saw the dedicated spirit. I guess I can say that she had her ‘bucket list’
started early in the game.

Krista Kleiner (aqua Krissa Mae), the reigning Binibining Pilipinas-International 2010 is visiting Los Angeles for her dad’s birthday. I kind of lost track of her since she left for the Philippines three years ago where she started to co-host the TV game show ‘GoBingo’ and regularly appeared on GMA’s celebrity ‘SOP Rule.’ I engaged her recently in a fireside chat. I wanted to know who Krista is now that she is 21. The energy and passion is still there as she shares her life as a Filipino-American beauty queen, and at the same time, work as a model, TV actress, singer, host, and dancer for the GMA Network.

Her contract with GMA is up this coming March, as well as her title as Ms.Binibining Pilipinas-International. However, as we continued our conversation, Krista laid it down that she is excited to ‘pursue her dream’ of recording an Album; she is very passionate about her prospective movie deal in China, where she can finally show off her skills, having a Black Belt in Martial Arts, and then along the way, be able to do more product endorsements.

Was it her drive, her talent, or was it her amiable Filipina trait (that mom Carmen has instilled in her) that paved the way for the great Spanish romantic crooner Julio Igleisas (who has sold over 300 million records worldwide) to invite her to be part of his 2010 ‘Starry Night World Tour?’

Before she even realized it, Krista was whisked off flying to Sydney in Julio Iglesias’ $45M ten-seater private jet. She was special guest on Julio’s concert tour that included Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Honolulu, Florida, Canada, Malaysia and here in Indiana and Las Vegas.

What comes to mind when I think about Julio Iglesias is the song entitled “To All the Girls I Loved Before”. So I have to ask the proverbial question: is she now one of the girls? How was it to work with the well-known Casanova?

Krista politely replied that Julio ‘is a great and generous person’ and that she had so much fun working with him on tour. He would tell her stories and would show her pictures of his family. Julio has become ‘like a mentor and a father to me.’ And yes, she has been to Julio’s sprawling white sand beachfront Mansion in the Dominican Republic! Krista reveals that they call each other’s cell phone until now, although she has to cut short her part of the world tour due to other projects.

It is well known that Julio was previously married to a Filipina journalist Isabel Preysler (Spanish Hola Magazine) where he had three children. At present, Julio has three sons and twin daughters with his current wife, Miranda Rijnsburger, whom he married after a 20-year relationship.

Krista was away on tour with Julio Iglesias for the better part of 2010. How about Krista’s boyfriend Jay-R? Jay-R is a well-known R&B singer-songwriter, actor, model, composer, and record producer (Homeworks Records) in the Philippines. There was a lot of speculation then that Krista won’t return to the Philippines. However, Krista said that they would call each other almost regularly – a long distance love affair. They met at GMA where work blossomed into a relationship. Jay-R is very proud to be the boyfriend of Krista and even co-wrote a song with her entitled “Beauty Queen”. She is as well proud of her “multi-talented boyfriend.”

While you are reading this, Krista will be on her way back to the Philippines (she flew out January 23rd), full of energy to start another very busy year. That is where she has her heart and dreams are set. However, even with the fame, amid countless controversies, and the glitz and glamour, chatting with Krista Kliener showed me that while she is viewed as Filipino-American on the outside, she remains a true Filipina within.

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